How to Screen a Tenant in The Rental Application Process

Whether an online or paper application, the purpose of the application is to address certain questions. The mode of administration of the application forms is not of more importance as long as the landlord's concerns about the preferred tenants are addressed.

When renting out a property, landlords need to screen the potential tenants. Then, they need to fill out applications, but why do you need to do it? First, it will help you evaluate the potential tenants for safer renting. Then, you can review the finished applicant's application to help you decide on picking the tenants. Here are the steps to take when you get the rental applications.

  1. Do an initial screening.

Before sending out tenant rental applications, you need to do prescreening first. Pre Screening will save you a lot of time. Things that you need to look at include:

  • Check on an applicant's public information, and you can find this on social media.
  • Get the number of the applicants and engage them in a conversation to get to know them better and inform them about the screening process.

All the information you collect will help you have a picture of the applicant even before meeting them. In addition, talking to them on the phone or researching them online will save you lots of time during the meeting.

  1. Creating and collecting applications

When dealing with tenant rental application, it's always advisable to use vetted ones. The applications mostly ask for information that is within legal guidelines. Always use the same application form to evaluate every tenant. It helps you collect income status, prior landlords, references, and evictions. Using vetted applications ensures you are within state and federal guidelines to help you avoid discrimination against potential tenants. The main objective of this vetted application is to allow potential tenants to provide confidential information.

  1. Screening reports

There are things the landlord needs to look out for in tenant screening. Besides the normal information such as names, there are more things to have a clear applicant background. The tenant can give you consent and detailed background checks to make your selection easier. Here are screening reports that you can access:

  • You can check the credit report, including the scores of the applicant.
  • Do background checks like knowing the applicant's convictions records.
  • Access to eviction reports shows if the applicant has ever been evicted from a property and its reasons.
  1. Verifying the applicant information

Receiving an application from an applicant is not everything; you need to verify the information. Here are ways you can do it:

  • Identity verification to ensure the applicant has accurately presented themselves. For example, you can ask for a photo ID, driver's license, or passport.
  • Employment verification where you ask for documents to prove their past and present employment. It will help if you want to contact the employers to verify the details.
  • You should look into their income to assess if they will make it to pay the rent.
  • Don't forget to check the residence history, which will show you past residencies, previous evictions, and feedback from previous landlords.
  • Lastly, check the references to get more information on their background.

When a landlord is doing tenant screening, they need to get as much information on them as possible. So follow the above steps to get suitable data for your potential tenants.